14 Jan 2012
The mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation.
Henry David Thoreau, Walden (“Economy”)
I want to spend a little time talking about three writers: Whitman, Thoreau, and VanWestervelt.
Bold of me, isn’t it? You might think it even egoistic, pompous, or overly self-righteous. Who am I to argue? Go right ahead. And to be honest, I hope you have the courage to say it out loud. Shout it for the world to...
10 Jan 2012
Call it a daybook, a journal, even a diary if you want. I don’t care if you call it your little black book of secrets or your “journal down the yellow book road” (yeah, I did that once — the cover adorned with pictures of Ozian munchkins and wand-twirling witche s– and I still don’t regret it).
What you call it doesn’t matter. What you do in it does.
And that, my...
14 Dec 2011
I was driving home from work with a friend of mine earlier today, and we were talking about the stress and anxiety of buying presents for friends and family members.
“They always seem so…ungrateful for the gifts I end up buying for them,” he said. “I put a lot of thought into them, but they don’t really get that. I hate that.”
“What about gift cards, then? Even...
7 Nov 2011
It’s day 7 for all you novel-writing-in-November crazies, and by now you’ve already realized the ugly truth: The honeymoon is over.
For the last few weeks, you’ve been telling all of your friends about your 50K in 30 days, and you have graciously accepted their kind words of support. You even accepted — with a smile — suggestions you were an out-of-your-mind madman to attempt...
27 Oct 2011
I will scare the hell out of you. After all, it’s what we really want, isn’t it?
My first novel was a psychological-suspense thriller called Night Terrors. One of the reasons I gravitated toward this category of fiction was the absolute thrill of writing to terrify you. I craved the structure and strategy of writing a story that kept you on the edge of your seat during the entire read. I felt...
22 Sep 2011
Dear Souls, Individuals, Peeps (did I get everybody?):
I’m feeling a little teased lately, with all these snippets of real-life stories being shared in 140 characters or less. Don’t get me wrong — I love all the social networks you have created to share your thoughts and stories. Great idea. Really. There’s just one little problem. They’re not sticking around long enough to...
22 Aug 2011
I am now wrapping up the final revisions of my book, Cold Rock, which will be released in the fall. There is so much I could be thinking about right now: the launch, distribution, marketing, and book signings, just to name a few that will need my full attention.
And then there are the emotional burdens that could weigh heavily on my mind. Will my readers like the story? Will they understand the...
11 Jul 2011
Sometimes, we try too hard to come up with elaborate plots that out-twist the latest blockbuster book or movie. We think that, to be successful, we need to be better than everybody else. We need to develop extremely complex plots with shocking endings the reader could have never anticipated. While it is true that some stories are remembered for such tricks, most authors are successful with a much simpler...